Saturday, June 7, 2014

An Incentive Program for the Feds | Missouri Education Watchdog

An Incentive Program for the Feds | Missouri Education Watchdog:

An Incentive Program for the Feds

Race To the Top was the Federal Incentive program for states to adopt common core and the assessments. Maybe what they need now is a state developed incentive program for them to clean up their act.
Utah lawmakers are considering dropping their request for an extension of their No Child Left Behind waiver. This could be another domino falling away from the federal department of education’s control of state education agencies.
Washington State held similar debates this spring about the teacher evaluation portion of their waiver requirements. For years they had tied teacher evaluations to student test scores. The only difference between their evaluation program and the federally “incentivized” one was that they allowed school districts to choose from a number of tests to demonstrate student proficiency. The Feds would only accept scores from the common core aligned standardized tests.
Washington lawmakers decided to take federal law as, well, the law and stick with their own teacher evaluation plan. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act forbids the federal government from “exercis[ing] any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system.” Seems a teacher evaluation that determines whether you get to keep your job is about as close to direct control over personnel as you can get. DC did pull Washington’s waiver but the state is standing strong and finding ways to work around the loss of flexibility over their $40 million in federal Title I funding.

Oklahoma is the latest state now to test the federal control using the waiver. Proponents of the An Incentive Program for the Feds | Missouri Education Watchdog: